Boro Park residents and officials were angered and disappointed to learn of several loads of sheimos found dumped in a quiet section of McDonald Avenue.
“It’s a chillul Hashem,” said Chaim Tabak, a volunteer for Misaskim, who supervised the cleanup. “We found siddurim, Chumashim and sefarim, and all kinds of papers in small, tied-up bags. It looked like one of the collection trucks just dumped them there.”
The sheimos were discarded together with other household garbage and placed in boxes and bags in an empty parking space on Macdonald Avenue between Bay Parkway and Avenue M, just outside of Washington Cemetery. It was reported to Misaskim by Yossi Travis.
“My wife saw a white truck with no sign on it pull up to the spot and two non-Jews unloaded the boxes,” he told Hamodia. “Not too many people pass by over there, so if you’d want to dump something, it’s a perfect place.”
Soon after receiving Mr. Travis’s call, Misaskim dispatched a team to retrieve the several dozen sefarim and bags of papers before city sanitation could haul it away as regular litter.
Several police officers of Boro Park’s 66th Precinct were also at the scene. Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who has been outspoken on the issue of fraudulent sheimos collection for some time, was also present during the cleanup.
“Especially before Passover, trucks are found all over the community conducting a lucrative business by accepting sheimos. I can’t stress this enough: Please take the time to find out where your sheimos is going. Don’t trust just anyone with it,” said Hikind.
To the chagrin of many, such incidents have become a yearly occurrence, especially in Brooklyn where several dozen trucks offer sheimos pick-up and disposal, purportedly according to halachic standards, in the pre-Pesach cleaning season.
“It’s not realistic for the police or even the community to patrol against such a thing, but why shouldn’t these trucks need permits like other vendors?” said Mr. Tabak. “It’s a terrible shame that it’s happening. It’s not the first time and will, unfortunately, probably happen again. People need to be careful to give [their sheimos] to a reliable source.”